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Learner Driver's Insurance

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Insurance for learner drivers

Leaning to drive for the first time is an exciting experience. However, for first time drivers, costs can mount up. There’s a lot to think about aside from just driving lessons. If you have a car, you also need car insurance, even while you have a provisional driving licence.

If you are having driving lessons with an instructor, they might include learner driving insurance in the cost of the lesson. However, most drivers will also need to practice driving in addition to time spent in lessons. Whether this takes place in your own, or a parents or friends car, anyone on a provisional licence will need insurance.

Passing a driving test can be hard work. There is a lot to think about, so the more hours of driving practice you do, the better your chance of passing first time. The right provisional driving insurance is a must to ensure you are covered while you learn.

Why you need learner driver insurance?

Driving on a public highway involves risk, both to you and to other drivers. Even if you have not yet passed your test, you could be involved in an accident. If someone else is hurt or their car damaged as a result of an accident caused by you, you could be liable for costs. Car insurance is required by law to protect yourself and other road users against this risk.

All motorists need to have car insurance cover by law. The Road Traffic Act 1988 requires a minimum level of cover of all drivers. Driving without insurance is an offense, and you could be prosecuted if you are caught.

Is learner driver car insurance expensive?

Statistically, inexperienced and learner drivers are more at risk of being involved in an accident than more experienced drivers. This means that policy costs are often quite high.

The more powerful or valuable the car, the higher the cost of insuring a learner driver. In the case the car is damaged or involved in an accident, the repair costs are likely to be higher, meaning the policy will have to cover greater costs. This can bump up insurance premium costs for learners.

Many learner drivers are able to practice in a parents or relative’s car. The learner driver cover can be added to the main driver’s policy.

What is covered by car insurance for learner drivers?

There are three main types of car insurance cover. As a learner driver, talk to your insurer about which is the most appropriate for your personal circumstances and budget.

The main types of cover are as follows:

  • Third party only. This is the lowest level of cover, and will usually be the cheapest type of policy. You are covered against the costs of any claim brought by a third party. For example, if you are involved in an accident while learning to drive, or damage someone else’s property, the policy will cover the cost of repairs.
  • Third party, fire and theft. If your car is damaged as a result of fire, or theft, the policy will cover the cost of repair or replacement, as well as cover claims by third parties.
  • Comprehensive car insurance. Comprehensive car insurance is the highest type of cover available to learner drivers. The policy includes all of the above, plus cover for costs for your own car if you have an accident.

When you are learning to drive on your provisional licence, you must always be supervised. Driving alone on a provisional licence will invalidate your insurance.

Who can supervise learner drivers?

Anyone who has held a full UK driving licence for at least three years can supervise you while you are learning to drive. They must be over 25, but do not need to be the owner of the car you are practicing in.

How long do I need learner driver insurance cover for?

Passing a driving test involves a lot of work. There are no guarantees on how long it will take before you are ready to pass your test. You can buy learner driver insurance for a number of months, as a temporary policy. This can be useful if you are not planning on driving immediately after passing your test.

Alternatively, many insurers offer full year policies. Once you have passed your test, the cover is updated to a regular car insurance policy for full licence holders.

How to save money on car insurance for learner drivers

Because of the increased risk involved with insuring learner drivers, policy costs are often extremely high. You may be able to save money on the cost of insurance by taking a few steps

  • Share the policy with a more experienced driver. If there are two drivers on a policy, for example a parent or relative too, the insurer will calculate the premium cost based on both drivers.
  • Shop around, and compare quotes from various different insurers. Depending on your circumstances, you could find that costs vary by provider.
  • Opting for a higher voluntary excess could lower the cost of your premium. The excess is the amount you pay before the claim cover kicks in.
  • A telematics policy can be a good option for learner drivers to reduce premium costs. This involves fitting a black box recorder to your car, which monitors your driving habits. This allows insurers to monitor the risk involved in insuring you. For safe drivers, premium costs can come down.
  • Once you have passed your test, taking additional lessons, or doing pass plus courses can also lower your risk to insurers. Many driving schools offer motorway driving lessons, or advanced road safety training for new drivers which can reduce the cost of insurance premiums.

Learner driver’s insurance FAQs

Q – Can I get learner drivers insurance for my own car?

A – If you are driving under a provisional licence you must always be accompanied. Policies are available for learner drivers to insure their own cars, but can be prohibitively expensive. Many learner drivers choose to be a named driver on a more experienced driver’s policy before they pass their driving test, to bring down the cost.

Q – Will adding a learner driver affect my no claims bonus?

A – Many people learn to drive as a named driver on a parent or relative’s insurance policy. Usually, making a claim as a result of a learner driver should not affect your no claims bonus. Check with your insurer on the exact details of your policy.

Q – How many lessons will I need to take before I pass my test?

A – There is no legal minimum requirement on how long you need a provisional licence for before attempting your test. However, you must have insurance at all times while you are learning and after you pass your test.